Wednesday, June 2, 2021

"The Secrets We Left Behind"

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn't the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women's fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller.

Lane lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons and a collection of four legged friends. When she's not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading.

Lane applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Secrets We Left Behind, and reported the following:
From page 69:
An hour later, Elise sat beside Harry on the floor. He was propped up against a chair, and she was sitting cross-legged as she carefully wiped at his wound. Addy was sat quietly beside her; Peter was still asleep, albeit lying on the floor now, where they’d managed to put him after securing his leg. It was only a temporary fix and she had no idea what she was actually going to do with him long-term, but for now she’d done her best. Incredibly, although he’d managed to sustain a shocking injury, perhaps from men falling on him, he hadn’t been shot at all.

Hary was another story, though.

“I’m going to have to get the bullet out,” Elise said confidently, as if it were something she’d done before. “If I don’t, I suspect an infection will eventually set in.”

Harry’s breath seemed to whistle through his teeth. “Just get it over and done with.”

“Should I get you a stick to bite on or something?” she asked.

“Just more whisky,” he said. “I’ll be fine.”

She had tweezers that Addy had found for her, and although they’d already been cleaned in boiling water, she tipped a little alcohol on them for good measure. And as Addy passed Harry the bottle of whisky, Elise shuffled even closer to him, one hand pressed to his chest, the other ready to dig into his shoulder.

“Ready?” she asked.

He took a quick sip. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

She carefully inserted her tweezers, being as gentle as could be.
I love this test! It’s funny because I often naturally flick to roughly this part of a book when I’m standing in a bookstore trying to decide whether to purchase a novel!

This test is brilliant for my story - it absolutely represents the book. The Secrets We Left Behind is a very emotional read, in terms of what happens individually to my main characters, and the WWII setting at large as well. On page 69, you have three of the central characters on the page, it’s just after sisters Elise and Adelaide have taken in British soldier Harry - the rest of his regiment were massacred by the Nazi's when they were trying to surrender. He’s injured and they’re trying to get a bullet out of him! I think this is a great representation of the bravery they show throughout the novel, and really sets the scene for the entire story.

My book is based on real historical events around the evacuation of Dunkirk - told from the female perspective. If you’ve watched the film Dunkirk, you might have noticed there were no women on screen?! I loved the film, but being the writer I am, I wanted to know whether there were women there, and what their stories were. My story begins when the evacuation of Dunkirk is underway, asking the question of what it was like to be left behind…
Visit Soraya Lane's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Spitfire Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue